Mobility CEOs talk competition. Industries shaken by blockchain. Tech for the supply chain.

For fax sake


How many of you use the fax every day? We are curious because we hear disturbing rumors that over 20 years since the birth of the commercial internet, fax machines remain in wide use in the economy. 

At our third annual Future of Fintech event, which wrapped up today in Manhattan, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev said most traditional stock brokerages “still run on paper and fax machines.” 

The worst offender appears to be the US healthcare industry. Surveys show a majority of medical communication, including sharing of patient data, still happens by fax. 

DoorDash CEO Tony Xu has said that some restaurants still prefer to take catering and takeout orders by fax instead of via the internet. 

Might the use of fax machines be positively correlated with an industry’s lack of innovation?

Is this just an American thing like writing checks (also mentioned by Bank of America's CEO at our event)?

If you have any fax machine horror stories, send them to us. We’ll share them in a future newsletter.


We analyzed 28 quarters of earnings transcripts from Ford, General Motors, Daimler, and Tesla to get an in-depth look at their strategies and plans for the future.

Download the full Mobility Earnings Call Analysis to see how the companies' CEOs compare across 4 linguistic algorithms, who has the most to say about the competition, and more.

All blockchain everything

The popularity of cryptocurrencies is proving blockchain's utility in finance, but the possibilities don't end there.

From libraries to fishing to public assistance, we take a look at 42 industries that could be transformed by blockchain.

Smooth it out

Bringing a product from design to production can be complicated. Making a product at scale involves gathering a web of suppliers, and delays for incoming parts can incur huge costs.

Technology can help streamline the process. We look into how decentralized manufacturing and blockchain-based resource planning are improving the supply chain.

It was the best of times

Our third annual Future of Fintech event wrapped up today. A huge thanks to all participants and attendees. 

In case you missed anything, here are a few highlights:


  • Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev discusses the company's big advantage over traditional brokerages
  • Sallie Krawcheck, founder and CEO of Ellevest, is on a mission to close the gender investing gap
  • Head of Goldman Sachs Harit Talwar wants Marcus to be the "lovable teddy bear" of fintech with consumer-centric products
  • CB Insights' Anand Sanwal tells financial services incumbents how to keep innovating as disruption happens "gradually, then suddenly"

You can check out the recaps from all of the sessions here.

Have a great rest of the week.


P.S. On June 26, we'll be discussing payments around the world. Register for the briefing here.

This week in data:

  • $30B: Startups tackling the worst aspects of parking have seen a glut of funding as of late. Most of these investments have been to early-stage companies, with 90% going to seed or Series A rounds. Read more about the players disrupting the $30B North American parking industry here.

  • $71.3B: The Walt Disney Company sharply upped its bid for 21st Century Fox on Wednesday, with Fox in turn announcing that it had entered an agreement with Disney, valued at $71.3B. (A 35% uptick from Disney’s earlier offer, and about $6B more than Comcast’s.) The deal comes about a week after a judge approved the AT&T-Time Warner merger, another major move towards consolidation in the media industry. We recently looked at the future of major telecom companies like AT&T, Time Warner, Comcast, and more. Get the slides and recording here.
  • 10 million patents: This week, the US Patent Office issued its 10 millionth patent, using its numbering system that dates back to 1836. Patent #10,000,000 was issued to Joseph Marron and Raytheon for “Coherent LADAR Using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection,” while Patent #1 was granted to Senator John Ruggles for a type of train wheel designed to reduce the effects of bad weather on the track. Can’t get enough of patents? Check out our Patent Search Engine & Analytics to see how you can search patents to track tech trends, keep tabs on competitor activity, and get a glimpse of the products of the future before they hit the shelves. 

  • 111 years: Industrial giant General Electric has been booted out of the Dow Jones Industrial average, following 111 years of continuous membership on the index. GE will be replaced by drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance. We recently highlighted Walgreens as the most active pharmacy giant placing private market healthcare bets. Check out the full analysis

  • 11th: The World Health Organization has classified “gaming disorder” as a new mental health condition in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases, released Monday. Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, a member of WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, classified major diagnostic features of the disorder, including gaming behaviors that lead to significant distress and impairment in a gamer’s personal, family, social, educational, or occupational functioning. To see companies focused on improving mental health, clients can view our mental health market map here.
  • $550M: On Monday, Google made a $550M investment in Chinese e-commerce company The partnership will allow both companies to compete in the global e-commerce space (currently dominated by Amazon and Alibaba), and the pair plans to explore joint development of retail solutions in Southeast Asia, the US, and Europe. We formerly highlighted as one of the best VC bets of all time. Read about its success (and 27 other VC home runs) here.

  • $5: CryptoKitties, a startup that raised $12M to build its platform for Ethereum-backed digital cats, is having a rocky moment. At one point, a single digital cat could sell for over $100,000. Now, the median price of a CryptoKitty has fallen from $41 a few months ago to around $5, while transaction volume has collapsed from 1.3M in December to just 115,000 in May. Confused about what exactly is going on here? We dove into all things Ethereum (and even touched on CryptoKitties) in our explainer, What is Ethereum?

  • 10: Alexa can now order you room service. Tuesday morning, Amazon announced a new program called Alexa for Hospitality, designed to bring the voice assistant to hotels and rentals. The system can include information like checkout time and pool hours, allow guests to request services, and adjust smart home functions like changing the thermostat. Marriott will roll out the initiative to 10 properties across the US this summer. Expert clients can check out other trends shaping the future of luxury hotels here.
  • 46.54 lb: Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources confirmed Thursday that fisherman Brandonn Kramer has set the state’s record for biggest catch. Fishing in the Grand River, Kramer reeled in a 38.5-inch black buffalo fish that weighed in at 46.54 pounds. Fishing is one of several, perhaps unexpected non-banking industries that could be disrupted by blockchain in the coming years. Check out the other 41 industries here.
  • 46: Koko, the gorilla who learned to communicate using sign language, passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 46. In addition to learning 2,000 words of sign language, Koko learned to play the recorder and even took her own photo for the cover of National Geographic. To honor her legacy, the Gorilla Foundation is working on a wildlife conservation center in Africa, a great ape sanctuary in Maui, and a sign language app. Those wishing to share their condolences can do so by emailing

One more thing...

A hat that was reportedly worn by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Battle of Waterloo sold for over $405K at the De Baecque auction house in Lyon, France earlier this week.

The hat was sold 203 years to the day after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. It is believed to be one of around 120 similarly styled military dress hats in his collection.

Historians have identified only 19 remaining hats, most of which are now housed in museums.

According to the auction house, the French emperor constantly had 12 hats in rotation, each with a life span of three years.

Napoleon's most expensive chapeau was purchased by a South Korean collector for $2.4M at an auction in 2014. That hat came from a collection belonging to Monaco's royal family, and was reportedly in much better condition than the hat sold this week.

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